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New transit provider at Mt Buller

Discussion in 'Mt Buller' started by djam, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Jarryboy

    Jarryboy Early Days

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    The wife and I chose the bus up from Mansfield last weekend. After hearing the horror stories from lodge folk about waiting up to an hour for oversnow taxis We were pretty happy with our decision.
     
  2. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark One of Us

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    Or if you're up ad-hoc book one of the Kooroora spots when they become available in July. Bookable per night inc. gate entry.
     
    mx_boarder and CarveMan like this.
  3. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    that's good to know - who do you contact for those? I might have some rental guests who are interested.
     
  4. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark One of Us

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    Will be bookable on the website next week.
     
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  5. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    How much!?
     
  6. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    Off topic now
     
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  7. xuěboarder

    xuěboarder One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Easiest taxi of my life tonight. Followed us down to the car park and got straight on.
    Noticed there were 3 on standby up top.
    Will be interested to compare when I leave Friday night
     
  8. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    May I just vent? First tiny bit of snow. Bus service from day car park - pathetic. Huge queue, no buses for 30 mins so far. 830am. Car park not even that full yet. What will it be like on a really busy day???
     
  9. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    They forgot about the chains! Not kidding! :cry: Only at Buller...
     
    Jarryboy likes this.
  10. Alexg1687

    Alexg1687 Early Days

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    Is this just an early season thing? Will they put more buses into service when the snow ramps up? Or is the new provider just that inept?
     
  11. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    Yes. Allegdly One driver needed assistance putting his chain's on his bus. Someone from the general public helped. Took 40 mins to get them on. The bus driver is sitting for his hazardous area licence tomorrow. Monday
     
  12. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I don't want to be unnecessarily harsh as it's school holidays and a weekend to boot so it's obviously going to be busy and delays are going to happen. But realistically is it too much to expect for a bus to arrive every ten minutes at peak times at the day car park? Ideally it would be every five minutes but I realise that is never going to happen so trying to be at least somewhat realistic about it.

    As it turns out we were lucky. When I returned to the day car park at about 1130am to drive back down there was a queue of people stretching from the bus stop back through the car park itself as far as the stairs to the very top car park! And when I repeated the trip in the afternoon for pickup the queues to get back from the village square to the day car park were hundreds of metres long again. To their credit they were busing people back using every vehicle they could find including village shuttle buses, but clearly the system in place is not able to cope with the demand placed upon it a lot of the time. Add to this that they don't seem to have a scooby about using chains properly when it snows and the fact that the app they've plugged also doesn't work for day car park buses and you wonder how this mob ever got the gig.

    I never thought I'd say it, but can we have MMBL back please? Quite apart from regular skiers it's just a terrible experience for so many day trippers who get sucked in to visiting by the marketing hype, spend a truckload of cash on a visit and then spend much of their time queuing in the freezing cold with their kids rather than enjoying the snow.
     
  13. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hate to say it, but day trips to Buller just aren’t really worth it until HH is running, as even if you still need to use the bus to the village it thins the crowd massively.
     
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  14. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not wanting to throw blame unless it’s due, but when were the new mob actually appointed? Have they actually been given adequate time to gear up and train their staff? Or have they had plenty of time and just been useless in doing so?
     
  15. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It's a fair point you make, although effectively the season's been running nearly a month now. We may only have two months left so at some point they will need to get their act together. It's not an easy job I know, but maybe the transport side needs more funding to get more buses involved to service the demand. Costs $$ though but with all the extra visitors surely those $$ are available? Or has it all been spent on reducing taxi costs for overnighters?
     
  16. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    skiflat likes this.
  17. hooha

    hooha Hard Yards

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    I hope you have tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    No where near enough time. Bendigo pulling out certainly didn't help, but one of the main problems was/is that the RMB itself didn't/don't have a realistic grip on what's required. In my years driving I never knew of anyone from the RMB come and really see how it actually plays out and understand how things worked/didn't work on the ground.

    Its a RMB CORE function (like snow clearing) to provide efficient, safe transport, and they should be all over it......when you get unhappy with your provider of a service and put out a tender without actually understanding the basics and complexities of what you actually need, then you will encounter problems. (The RMB putting only 2 carpark buses on for the early opening weekend shows how little they understood.) Not saying the system didn't need a shake up, it certainly did, but the execution has been botched and that responsibility mostly lies with the RMB.

    Travelsafe starting from scratch a couple of months out was pushing the proverbial way uphill. A (part) season observing and planning would have been the smart option considering the lack of RMB knowledge that was handed over.

    Anyway, hopefully they all work it out soon so the customer benefits.
     
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  18. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    I agree
     
  19. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    not saying it's perfect, but FCRMB have a pretty good insight into how outsourced transport works. CEO's wife is an employee of the transport co. she may have sold you a ticket.
    AFAICT the outsourcer is pretty with it, responsive and works well with RMB
     
  20. hooha

    hooha Hard Yards

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    apologies curra if I've somehow missed your point, but what's Falls Creek RMB got to do with Buller's transport problems?

    I didn't expect it to be perfect either, but no one can say it hasn't been a bit botched, especially how big it was all talked up. Im just lucky I'm not one of the people who has gone thru the long lines. Im actually surprised at the lack of forethought on some issues. If you are bringing in new structures, systems and tech, etc then don't test it out on the customers you have already told will get a much better experience, unless you know they will get that experience.

    I've never said Travelsafe have not been responsive or works well with the Buller RMB. They need to be to fix the issues as soon as possible.

    Somehow the whole situation reminds me a little of ( MotoGP) Casey Stoney talking about Valentino Rossi after an accident "obviously your ambition outweighed your talent". Classic line.
     
  21. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    didn't mean to offend. I was just commenting on your assertion that RMB had no idea. It's not unusual here to comment on contrasts and similarities between the resorts. One thing Buller can do better than Falls is one vehicle from car to lodge rather than changing ( and often waiting) at ATS
     
  22. hooha

    hooha Hard Yards

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    curra,
    not sure why you think I'm offended, please relax:cool:, not sure how you got to that conclusion.

    understand and appreciate that you have knowledge of FCRMB but not sure how that links to what I've said specifically about the Buller RMB. I've stated some specific reasons for why I think the RMB have made errors. It would be great if they could actually admit more often their errors. The top dogs certainly get paid enough to. More money from more responsibility should equal more accountability, but lets not even go there.....:whistle:

    Myself and a lot of other people I used to work with would have done a better job at scheduling buses than the RMB has on occasions this year. 2 carpark buses scheduled for the early opening weekend after a mega media snow blitz, and forecasted beautiful sunny weather screams "no idea" , at least for that situation, to me.

    Anyway once again hope it can all be sorted out ASAP.
     
    currawong likes this.
  23. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'll say my final piece on this (for now!) and leave it. Someone mentioned that the RMB don't have a clue about the actual issues - and I am talking specifically about the day car park issues here. I would love to stand in the day car park in an hour long queue in the freezing wind with the CEO of the RMB waiting for a bus to arrive surrounded by day trippers all under-dressed for winter and sheltering their small children from the cold whilst clutching their expensively rented kit and their rapidly expiring lift passes. He/she could then stand with me in the reverse queue getting back to the car park later in the day whilst it snakes twice around the village square and rude people push into the front of the queue and just get on the bus in front of all of the patient people queuing.

    It's not an easy thing to fix because logistically at Buller it can be a nightmare, I get that. But some of the improvements I would suggest as someone who used this service nearly every day last year and many days this year:

    1. More buses, all of the time. Just pay the bloody money and put 2 more buses and drivers on the whole time but especially in peak periods.

    2. Make sure the drivers know how to carry and fit their chains. Be PRO-ACTIVE when it's likely to snow and get the chains on early so service is not affected at 800-900 in the bloody morning when the queues are mounting.

    3. Real time information at the Day Car park and the Village Square. Spend the money, put real time bus data at the stops like the CBD tram stops in Melbourne. Show how long until the next 2-3 buses arrive. Yes, issues with snow covering these but surely these can be got around with a shield or a shelter of some sort. They already have the bus time data on their app on a confusing map but it's practically unreadable and the app doesn't work most of the time. We don't want to be fumbling with phones downloading apps in the pissing rain or snow and wind. Put it on a screen at the front of the queue.

    4. Don't stop the buses at the toboggan park. This causes massive delays in busy periods. Half the people on the bus get out thinking it's the day car park, then get back on because it's not. Or someone on the back seat needs to get out there and has to squeeze through everyone else to get out. Run a separate bus for people arriving on the coaches (which park by the toboggan area) or who want to travel between the toboggan park and the village. Then build a decent pavement from the day car park down to the toboggan area so people don't have to walk on the road to get there.

    I guarantee that implementing the above would fix a lot of the issues for the day car park users. Yes, it all costs money. But do they want people to have an enjoyable experience or not? Isn't that their raison d'etre anyway?
     
  24. djam

    djam One of Us

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    The growth in day visitors to Buller over now many years, it is a huge problem, on many levels. The
    RMB are and have been spending a lot of time working towards solutions. Many of the issues can
    only be fixed spending large sums of money.

    The resort does not have endless funds and so has to balance spending. The stairs that link the car
    parks to the lift and bus stops are new this year. This was to remove people walking along the side
    of the road, to improve safety. The car parks had a lot of resurfacing work done over summer, again
    to improve safety. The full list of improvements over summer is very long.

    If MMBL don't put in a tender, the RMB can't award the contract to them. The overall transport contract
    was processed by a team of people representing all areas of the resort, with many many years experience.
    All of those committee members spent a day in the carparks/skating rink areas as part of the induction.
    The CEO was in those areas on the weekend, he spends time on the front line, shovels snow and helps
    out in busy periods, so has a really good understanding of the situation.

    You can't manage/reduce costs, and provide more services at the same time.

    Running a resort is a lot more complicated then most know or care to know. Could some aspects
    been done differently, sure, would the outcome then of been better, maybe.

    Everyone involved has a huge interest in providing the best outcome for the resort and community.

    So please, report back issues, but do it in a helpful way, no need to kick the very people that are
    working hard to make Buller better. You might even step up and join a committee, to take a more
    active roll, if you feel you have something to add.
     
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  25. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm guessing this is aimed at me? I'm not going to argue at length with you about this on a forum but I can't help but respond a little. We clearly have irreconcilable views and I'm happy to concede that you have inside knowledge that I don't - I am literally a nobody, just an average punter using the facilities. But let me simply say that if the RMB awarded the tender then they need to carry some of the blame. It's called leadership. They awarded the tender to a mob that doesn't know how to fit chains to buses - they were in the chain bay being shown by someone today (July 2nd) as we drove up. They only provided 2 (two) buses on the day car park route both times we travelled today, totally inadequate in school holidays. Again we stood in the rainy mizzle for 30 minutes each way freezing cold with all of the day trippers and their kids. And that's just today's stories, every day it is happening and much worse some days.

    I've conceded that it's not an easy task but I've also provided four constructive suggestions that could help the situation. Clearly the RMB have already thought of these and dismissed them as 'too complicated' or too expensive and are therefore content with the current state of affairs. It makes me wonder what was actually in the tender requirements they put out. Surely they specified a minimum level of day car park bus service during the holiday period? Surely!

    And you want me to join a committee and take an active role? Mate, I'm paying Buller thousands and thousands of dollars each year to use their facilities! These guys are being paid (I assume - correct me if I'm wrong) to manage that facility. I'm more than happy to provide constructive feedback (I thought I had already) but you'll forgive those of us who are standing in queues getting wet and cold every day for thinking that the RMB don't give a **** about us when we are dished up the same service (and now even worse) every year and then told it's too complicated to be improved.

    The fact is Buller can do what they want. At the end of the day people will still come because of the proximity to Melbourne so it makes no difference. It really could be so much better though.
     
  26. djam

    djam One of Us

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    No.

    It was to help balance the comments, we have some very good people trying to do a almost
    impossible task. I could going on for pages explaining why it's not an easy fix. But, it will not
    fix the issues and here is not the right place.

    Keep giving the feedback, but guessing who is to blame helps no one.

    People used to stay overnight once, the average stay is now down to 1.39 days :( that's not
    far off Buller becoming day tripper traffic only.

    > I am literally a nobody

    That's me too, but I want to help work through these issues to make Buller the best it can be.

    > The fact is Buller can do what they want. At the end of the day people will still come because
    > of the proximity to Melbourne so it makes no difference.

    That's not an advantage, it is the problem, it's the source of the day tripper traffic.
     
  27. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Fair enough mate, apologies if that came over as a rant at you. Just sick of standing in queues every day!
     
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  28. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    why ask me?
     
  29. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    I believe some drivers started work on the weekend but they did there Hazardous area driving course today. Tuesday
     
    #129 wolly, Jul 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  30. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sorry mate, was just a bit of an assumption as you appear to generally be all over what is actually happening on the ground vs most of us here looking in from afar.
     
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  31. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    I have been around a while
     
  32. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    Travel Safe have put an advert up in a Facebook group I am in seeking driver applications today.

    This does not bode well.
     
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  33. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Used the horse hill lift today instead. So much better. Friends still stranded queuing in village square when we left the car park to head home. Sadly won't be enough snow on the traverse to do likewise by the end of tomorrow.
     
    JuLe likes this.
  34. JuLe

    JuLe Early Days

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    Good to hear. I’m going to try my luck with it this weekend
     
  35. xuěboarder

    xuěboarder One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah ads coming up in all the groups I'm in, even rather niche ones. Not great signs
     
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  36. Philip Hodgkinson

    Philip Hodgkinson First Runs

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    Buses from the MB resort to the day carpark this weekend (especially Saturday) was a complete debacle. Massive lines (see attached pic), rude drivers and defensive TravelSafe attendants. Waiting up to 2 hours with young tired children has turned Mt Buller into a skiers’ nightmare for those that come up each weekend from Mansfield. A priority queue for season ticket holders or even for every skier/rider should be considered with so many sightseeing folk up from Melbourne clogging up the system.
     

    Attached Files:

  37. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    hard to prioritise skiers/boarders over sightseers when they all pay the same at the gate. maybe an argument for resort entry season pass holders
     
  38. Ski Tragic

    Ski Tragic Hard Yards

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    Not sure what Buller management is thinking at the momment. I'm a Buller visitor every year but catch the taxi service as I stay up Sunday to Wednesday as a general rule.
    Came up for a day trip Sunday of opening weekend and it was a 45 minute wait to get the bus up. A couple of boarders who didn't sound like regulars spoke about walking up from the day carpark but I advised them to sit tight because heading uphill in all their gear would be interesting.
    After spending 4 hours in the village, alongside Bourke street and a wander across to Tyrol for a bite we headed to the bus stop in the village to get the bus down. It was approx 3.00pm and the line was pretty big so we decided to walk down. We were in walking shoes and no ski clothes and walked down on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. A pretty easy walk that took 10 to 15 minutes.
    The concerning thing was not one bus passed us on the way down. How long does it take to load and unload a bus??
    Management have got some work ahead of them as the big crowds haven't even hit yet. What will it be like when there's snow on the mountain!! I know horse hill (Northside) is an option but will the average day tripper know that?
     
  39. willsnow

    willsnow Addicted

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    If you know the queue is 2 hours long, then perhaps it's better to just spend 15 mins (? guesstimating) to walk from Village to Northside Express and take a presumably queue free lift back to the day carpark?
     
  40. djam

    djam One of Us

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    Why did you not use Northside express, it was running, zero queue, that's the advantage the snow play guests don't have ?
     
  41. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah its a ski resort and for the corporation marketing dept it's all about optics.
    So be sure to post that one on social media and send it to anyone you know and get them to post it as well and be sure the hash tag the resort so they see the post and the responses.
     
  42. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Bus thing is a bit of a legacy from the bad old days when there attitude was that visitors were captive and there was no need to cater for things like peak periods etc.
    As in "we got your cash already" and "service with a sneer"
    A lot has improved over the years but things like that remain the same.
    Hammering them on social media might fix it if enough people do it.
     
  43. Philip Hodgkinson

    Philip Hodgkinson First Runs

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    Because I had a 6 year old and an 8 year old who were very tired from a day of skiing!? We always use Northside when there’s sufficient snow.
     
  44. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I hear you on this. Easy for people to tell you to use Northside, not so simple when you've got kids in ski boots and your carrying all their gear and your own. We've started taking the kids snow boots in a backpack this week which I then ski around with on my back which is a royal pain in the arse. We can then ski to the path and walk the kids to northside to avoid the queue at the end of the day. But then if that's what it takes to ski at Buller as a family then it really makes you consider going somewhere else. Considering options for next year at this point personally. We can get 4 season passes to a different resort and Buller can give a day tripper with a toboggan who doesn't spend anything at the resort my day park spot ;)
     
  45. JuLe

    JuLe Early Days

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    I can vouch for the Northside Express option. On Saturday at 9:15am and 4:30pm there was literally zero queue. Just walked straight up and on. 5-minute walk across in ski boots. Can’t comment on the extra challenge of doing it with kids, but sure beats waiting 1hr+ in a queue. Definitely agree that the bus situation needs improvement though. Seems much worse than the past couple of years.
     
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  46. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    In fairness they definitely had more buses on this weekend. I think there were six running at times which is way better than previously when at times they had just two. It must be a total nightmare for them when everyone starts leaving around 3pm until 6pm - the maths just doesn't work. But as I said above, if the problem doesn't get solved then they are driving away the paying skiers and boarders who I imagine are the ones funding the whole operation. Not that I am saying sightseers should be discouraged, everyone has as much right to visit the snow as anyone else. But the car parking problem needs solving because you can see how the volume of arrivals is going up but their revenue is probably going down as the proportion of skiers to sightseers changes!
     
    JuLe likes this.
  47. kasper

    kasper Hard Yards

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    The long term plans for a gondola Horse Hill - Village and Horse hill re-vamp needs to be brought forward ASAP. I think this will help (although still queues at peak time...) But it could mean more day trippers pay for a ticket.....!? The route would be a good sightseeing chair ride too (and could be used in summer...).
    I think this is more important than upgrading wombat or Grimus IMO.

    We have also been lucky the last couple of years with snow in the June/July School holidays - this year has been lean and the access issues exacerbated. Mt Buller has done an excellent job marketing. Government Grants may be the only way some major investment gets completed though....(?)

    I haven't ventured up yet this year - will comment more on the bus situation when I do.

    I can also attest to taking a backpack with the kids' ski boots/other shoes - it is the only way of doing it (even when on the bus). I hire a locker or just risk leaving the bag on a ski rack during the day.
     
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  48. JuLe

    JuLe Early Days

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    Good to hear they had more buses on. It’s frightening that the queue was still like that with even more buses though.

    On that note, I’m all for sightseers enjoying the snow as well, but it must be said that it seems like they’ve surged in number over the past couple years and it’s a little out of hand at times. I always try and avoid Bourke Street and the lift area like the plague but when I have been down there this season, the number of sightseers loitering in the middle of slope, throwing snowballs AND with toboggans, especially down at the last part into the lift queue, is ridiculous. Being the main beginner area, it’s only a matter of time until an out of control snow plough wipes out a selfie-taking family thanks to a stray snowball and avoiding a toboggan! If you’re paying to be on a ski slope, you should be able to do exactly that without being impeded by those that haven’t. There’s plenty of other places to have some snow play!
    Don’t mean to be sound like a whinger, and like I said, I try not to go down there in general, but it’s an accident waiting to happen!
     
    Amelia1810 likes this.
  49. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    kasper likes this.
  50. wolly

    wolly One of Us

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    wait to the mountain gets busy, ultimately last weekend wasn't busy